Introduction

Laura L. Camden, Susan Gaetz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

Abstract

In a state known for its size and pride, a people known for understatement stands out. They are not numerous in the wide expanse of Texas, but when the plainly dressed Mennonites enter a store, walk down a sidewalk, or pass through an airport waiting area, heads turn to watch them. Ours did. Big and bold Texas. Quiet and unassuming Mennonites. What drew them together? What did (and do) they offer each other? First independently and then as a team, we set out to discover the answers to these questions and others that intrigued us about this religious group often associated with the Amish country of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and its surrounds. Through repeated and sometimes sustained visits and with the help of our camera lenses, we came to know this culture within a culture, these people with distinctive head coverings, plain dress, and a conservative, humble demeanor. In this book we introduce them to you and invite you to share a slice of their lives. In the following pages we have documented two Texas Mennonite communities, separated by almost 450 miles, which are thriving, growing, and contributing to the state not just economically but also culturally, civically, and historically. Characterized by hard work and simple living, the Mennonites lead private lives centered on their church community. They separate themselves physically but mostly spiritually from the larger society, eschewing many of the trappings of the modern world. In every aspect of their lives, God comes first. Nevertheless, the Mennonites, who have come to the state from as far away as Canada and Mexico, also share the pioneering spirit that has brought numerous other groups to Texas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMennonites in Texas
Subtitle of host publicationThe Quiet in the Land
PublisherTexas A and M University Press
Pages3-12
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1585444979, 9781585444977
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Camden, L. L., & Gaetz, S. (2006). Introduction. In Mennonites in Texas: The Quiet in the Land (pp. 3-12). Texas A and M University Press.